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World Water Day was held on 22nd of March 2022, during which a beaver lecture was carried out by Lutra Institute for the Municipality of Kostel at Fara Primary School on the border with Croatia. Lutra Institute employees presented many interesting facts related to beaver history and its ecology, as well as benefits which this species brings as an ecosystem engineer to its nearest natural environment. The discussion on how to implement various mitigation techniques used to manage and prevent beaver damage to occur also took place, with residents providing important local insight into living with beaver. The local residents noted the presence of beaver in their area only in the last couple of years, which makes sense as they were only introduced to Croatia in 1996 and needed time to disperse. The landscape of Kostel municipality is a narrow valley along Kolpa river and consequently, there is little space for gardens, orchards and agricultural fields, which are located close to the river banks. This makes the trees in the area highly prone to beaver activity. The residents were mainly interested how to regulate beaver activity and to prevent damage occurring to their favourite trees. Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation already prepared scientific basis for a beaver management plant to come into existence, but the final work needs to be done by the Slovenian Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning. We hope and plan, that we will also be able to contribute to the management plan with the data collected during the duration of our LIFE beaver project. We agreed with the local residents that a beaver management plan needs to take into consideration beaver experts and policy planners as well as the residents dealing with the species in their home area.

LIFE with the beaver, wetlands and climate change

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